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Baledwyr

EU lawmakers back fines for internet firms that fail to remove extremist content

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union lawmakers have backed plans to fine Facebook, Google, Twitter and other online platforms if they fail to remove extremist content within one hour.

 

 

The measures have been brought into sharper focus after the live streaming on one of Facebook’s platforms of shootings by a lone gunman, killing 50 people at two New Zealand mosques in March.

The EU’s draft law, including fines of up to 4 percent of annual global turnover, was endorsed by member states last year. However, concerns that the measures would hurt smaller online platforms or encroach on civil rights had stalled Monday’s vote.

The EU assembly’s justice and home affairs committee voted 35 to 1, with 8 absentions, in favor of the proposal, which now requires approval in a plenary vote next week and negotiations among the EU’s three lawmaking bodies.

The first hour is the most vital to stemming the further viral spread of online content, EU officials say, moving to regulate after they judged that internet companies were not doing enough under voluntary measures.

Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos containing footage of the New Zealand attack in the first 24 hours after the shootings.

Worries the new rules are lacking and could be misused have been expressed by three U.N. special rapporteurs for human rights and by the EU’s own rights watchdog.

Companies rely on a mix of automated tools and human moderators to spot and delete extremist content. However, when illegal content is taken down from one platform, it often crops up on another - straining authorities’ ability to police the web.

In response to industry concerns that smaller platforms do not have the same resources to comply as speedily with tougher EU rules, lawmakers said authorities should take into account the size and revenue of companies concerned.

Those facing their first removal order would also receive an additional 12 hours to comply.

Draft measures call on the bloc’s national governments to put in place the tools to identify extremist content online and an appeals procedure.

The one-hour rule would apply from the point of notification by national authorities and companies would face penalities over a “systematic failure” to comply.

However, lawmakers opted to drop a draft requirement for the monitoring of content uploaded or shared on their sites for signs of illegal activity.

“We risk the over-removal of content as businesses would understandably take a safety first approach,” said Daniel Dalton, a British lawmaker responsible for shepherding the bill through the house. “It also absolutely cannot lead to a general monitoring of content by the back door.”

Brussels has been at the forefront of a push by regulators worldwide to force tech companies to take greater responsibility for content on their sites.

Britain on Monday also proposed new rules that would penalize companies that fail to protect users from harmful content.

 

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by David Goodman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-tech-regulation/eu-lawmakers-back-fines-for-internet-firms-that-fail-to-remove-extremist-content-idUSKCN1RK1XA

 

PERSONAL COMMENT:

 

I am concerned that this tragedy will be jacked and used to push an anti-wrong-think agenda.

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The EU has been tightening it's internet-related laws for some time now, and they're not alone. Between the US ditching net-neutrality, Russia moving to restrict internet freedoms, and China's great firewall, the days of the wild west online are slowly coming to an end.

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And is it partially our fault? I mean the chans and the neckbeards having their way with the internet for so long has only encouraged this wave of censorship?

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10 hours ago, Baledwyr said:

And is it partially our fault? I mean the chans and the neckbeards having their way with the internet for so long has only encouraged this wave of censorship?

 

Nah. It was always going to happen. The internet could remain the way it was only as long as it was too difficult or expensive to control. As soon as government practically could control the internet they would try to.

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they still can t control internet

they just think they can

 

people will just start basing servers in countries like pakistan and india and eastern europe where EU law means little still

 

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Posted (edited)

The only thing this does is further radicalize right wing entities. It will do the opposite of the intended effect. Instead of explaining  thoroughly the problems and inconsistencies of a radical ideology, the EU has taken the approach of trying to whitewash it, which further cements the underdog mentality of many actual ethnonationalists and validates their stances in their own minds. Constructive dialogue about these things is not happening where it needs to happen, probably because it would require more honesty than most corporate or governmental entities are capable of. 

 

Deconstruct their ideas, not censor their means of distributing them. Certain factions within the EU have been playing a dangerous game with public opinion for several years now. The equivalent of dropping propane tanks off of a plane into a forest fire.

Edited by M3rkabo
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4 minutes ago, M3rkabo said:

Certain factions within the EU have been playing a dangerous game with public opinion for several years now

What "factions"? This is literally the directly elected European parliament and it will have to pass the Countil to actually become a law. Plus there are elections next month, if people don't like it they can vote in new parties. 

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@Ordo The factions that are ideologically driven and believe censorship is the correct solution. If you don’t believe these factions exist, you don’t understand money and the nature of politics.

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5 hours ago, ponasozis said:

they still can t control internet

they just think they can

 

people will just start basing servers in countries like pakistan and india and eastern europe where EU law means little still

 

 

Tricky subject. Realistically speaking it's only a matter of time before it becomes possible to control traffic to and from those servers.

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Posted (edited)

@Feanor What do you think of the idea that many tech types put forward regarding the invention of new internet technology that’s decentralized in nature? I think the main problem is that the ISPs and governments have the keys to pandoras box so to speak. I wonder if a day will come where the internet is revolutionized via peer to peer technology. I could see it within twenty years once server and bandwidth capacity gets up to snuff and is easily accessible. 

Edited by M3rkabo

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4 hours ago, M3rkabo said:

@Feanor What do you think of the idea that many tech types put forward regarding the invention of new internet technology that’s decentralized in nature? I think the main problem is that the ISPs and governments have the keys to pandoras box so to speak. I wonder if a day will come where the internet is revolutionized via peer to peer technology. I could see it within twenty years once server and bandwidth capacity gets up to snuff and is easily accessible. 

 

What happens when Russia and China ban it, and the EU requires a license to use the technology?

 

EDIT: Take a look here: https://www.euractiv.com/section/data-protection/news/austria-plans-to-force-social-media-to-identify-users-as-bar-to-hate-speech/

 

It's a pretty significant trend.

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On 4/10/2019 at 9:53 PM, Baledwyr said:

And is it partially our fault? I mean the chans and the neckbeards having their way with the internet for so long has only encouraged this wave of censorship?

They only had their way to the extent that there wasn't money to be made, so no one cared. There's a difference between "the internet" and "Facebook, YouTube, Google, Twitter, Instagram" and the other handful of big sites that most people spend nearly all their online time on. No one's looking Diplo's way for example, for good or ill. If you think of the internet as an extension of real life, it makes sense then that governments wish to police it. That doesn't necessarily mean establish a fascist state, but to police it nevertheless, and some entities will naturally go too far or implement some poorly thought out or implemented policy. Governments let these companies become far too big for their own good, such that they effectively became the new public squares despite being private entities, so now governments are trying to awkwardly compromise by making them police these squares since the government isn't in a position to do that themselves. And if somehow these boneheaded laws lead to the Big Tech companies being fined out of existence with laws then rewritten afterwards allowing small businesses and a better internet to rise from the ashes, that would be an unlikely but nice outcome, but more likely we're going to see a big showdown between endless Silicon Valley money and government. Whoever wins we'll probably lose.

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Also this will likely won t pass cause some country in EU decides that it shouldn't pass

Thats how EU works 

EU is basically SEJM of PLC before extremely ineffective at passing any new law or change

 

 

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